Guernsey to open files on German occupation

GUERNSEY is to open archives on the German occupation which had previously been designated closed for an indefinite period. They will cover the alleged collaboration by the local administration, and co-operation in the deportation of British civilians.

When the public is given access on 5 January, the 300 documents in English and German may also shed more light on links revealed in newly-disclosed Home Office documents on Tuesday between the island's government and German concentration and slave labour camps on Alderney.

The Home Office released selected documents from a 100-year embargo under pressure from David Winnick, a Labour MP, but withheld a further seven bundles. Five key bundles of Ministry of Defence documents relating to Alderney have not been made public, and have no release date.

British forces left the Channel Islands after the fall of France in June 1940, took off civilians who wanted to leave, and advised the Jersey and Guernsey administrations to stay to work under the Germans. Alderney was evacuated, and the Guernsey authorities maintained after the war that they had insufficient knowledge of what had gone on there to prosecute Germans for war crimes.

But a British military intelligence report for 19 April 1944 names 22 Channel Islanders working on Alderney, including three who were paid by the States of Guernsey as part of the administration of the island. Their names have been deleted in the copy released to the public. It is among 27 bundles on the Channel Islands' occupation released yesterday.